Top-ranked Duke wins 20th match of season for 14th time in 18 years
DURHAM, N.C. -- Although conditions were cool, the competition was heated as Duke defeated No. 14 Miami (Fla.) 6-1 on Sunday in Ambler Tennis Stadium. Sunday’s victory moved Duke to 20-1 on the season, the 14th time in 18 years Duke won 20 or more matches. The Blue Devils also earned their 10th conference win of the season Sunday, marking the fourth time in school history Duke won 10 or more ACC matches.
The match opened with both teams fiercely competing to earn the doubles point. Ultimately, with wins on court Nos. 2 and 3, Duke clinched the point.
Junior Annie Mulholland and freshman Chalena Scholl led the Blue Devils off the courts with a hard-fought 8-6 victory against Miami’s duo of Lina Lileikite and Stephanie Wagner. Although the Duke doubles pair sat tied with Miami at 2-2, 4-4, 5-5 and 6-6, the Blue Devils never held the lead until seeing a 7-6 advantage. With the 7-6 lead, the Duke tandem served out the match to earn its fifth win of the season.
Duke clinched the doubles point following a tight contest on court No. 2 between Duke’s No. 24 team of junior Ester Goldfeld and freshman Alyssa Smith and Miami’s 28th-ranked pair of Melissa Bolivar and Kelsey Laurente. Goldfeld and Smith outlasted the Miami pair in a tiebreak, winning 8-7 (7-2). With the victory, Goldfeld and Smith own an 8-1 overall record and a 5-0 mark in conference play.
The matchup between two top-25 doubles teams, including the fifth-ranked tandem of sophomore Beatrice Capra and senior Hanna Mar and Miami’s No. 23 pair of Monique Albuquerque and Clementina Riobueno, was abandoned with Duke trailing 7-4.
The Blue Devils caught their rhythm in singles, posting wins on court Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 to clinch the victory.
Scholl won her fourth consecutive singles match after defeating No. 49 Laurente, 6-2, 6-3, on court No. 2, to lead the Blue Devils off the courts. On court No. 3, No. 24 Goldfeld extended her win streak to eight matches after upending Riobueno 6-2, 6-4.
The 89th-ranked Smith clinched the victory for the Blue Devils with a 6-2, 6-2 defeat of Miami’s Bolivar. Smith fought back from an early 1-2 deficit in the first set by winning five consecutive games. In the second set, Smith took an early 3-2 advantage and never relinquished the lead. Smith sits at 22-8 on the season and owns a near-perfect 7-1 ledger in conference play.
Mar, the 31st-ranked singles player in the nation, earned her 22nd win of the season with a 6-2, 6-2 victory against Lileikite on court No. 4. The fifth-ranked Capra outlasted Wagner 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (11-9) on court No. 1.
Senior Rachel Kahan dropped just her fifth match of the season after falling to Albuquerque 2-6, 2-6, on court No. 6. Kahan sits at 12-5 on the season and 6-2 in conference matches this season.